Driver door will not lock or unlock | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Driver door will not lock or unlock

Hacra

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2014
Messages
320
Reaction score
103
City, State
Nurmijärvi
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 5.0 Eddie Bauer
As title states, driver door will not lock, nor can i open it from outside, inside yes.



Also i took out the interior panel and inside/top of the door there is some sort of rod flopping about :)

Then i looked at the door locking mechanism and found broken spring.

spring_lower_quality.jpg


I saw youtube tutorial of someone adding spring to possibly wrong location which cures the floppy outside door handle, did that, only thing that fixed was the floppy handle, which still doesn't unlock the door from outside.

Do i buy the actuator, the locking mechanism, both or burn the car? Perhaps there is another fix?
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





Also i have bought box of springs in hopes of replacing that spring, but i have no idea where it goes and how.
 








Now, finding a latch will be difficult.
 








Now, finding a latch will be difficult.
Rockauto has them, albeit not OEM
 






Went thru this same scenario last Summer on the driver front door. I remember reading that at least one member on here was able to replace the spring inside the latch...but, unless you have another one to compare location (and, the patience) to manuever that spring inside the latch, do yourself a favor and buy a new latch. I was lucky enough to find a new Motorcraft on e-Bay for about the same price as a Dorman. Then, found like new Dorman replacements at the JY for the passenger front and rear as spares for future needs.
 






+1 on RockAuto
 






Hmm, will have to recheck the condition of the actuator hook part, if that is not working i will have to order the actuator aswell, seems both can be found from RockAuto.

Also found this:



I am visual learner, Youtube has really helped me a lot.

Edit: i haven't actually checked from 1AAuto

Edit2: They have the parts aswell.
 






@1998Exp - Just askin' - Do you have a link/pic to the Rock Auto offering for the infamous door latch spring?
 






@1998Exp - Just askin' - Do you have a link/pic to the Rock Auto offering for the infamous door latch spring?
I meant the complete latch. For about $30 it's not worth searching for and fighting to install that tricky, tiny spring.
 






Part NumberPart TypePrice EACore EAQuantityTotal
1997 FORD EXPLORER 5.0L V8
SKP​
SK940400Door Latch Assembly (8708.29.9000)
€ 29.05​
€ 0.00​
1​
€ 29.05​
STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS​
DLA25 (DLA-25)Door Lock Actuator (8708.99.9790)
€ 33.48​
€ 0.00​
1​
€ 33.48​
Shipping​
International Economy
€ 14.17​
Carrier may collect duty and tax upon delivery
Order Total
€ 76.70

Not too bad considering it crosses the puddle.

Edit: i was not sure that i actually needed the actuator, but with my luck it'll break soon anyway, so why not replace it while i am there.
 






Just sayin - I am amazed that in the 15 yrs I've owned my 2nd Gen. Ex., someone on Ebay (for instance) hasn't sourced and offered that one infamous spring...

We now return to our regular program - ;)
 






I plan on taking the old one part and TRY to figure out how to fix it, if i somehow manage to do that, i'll post a tutorial, because if it's just one cheap spring, we've been buying expensive things for a long time, though there's probably a good reason we've been doing so.
 












I plan on taking the old one part and TRY to figure out how to fix it, if i somehow manage to do that, i'll post a tutorial, because if it's just one cheap spring, we've been buying expensive things for a long time, though there's probably a good reason we've been doing so.

@Hacra

Yep - go figure - that spring is the only part that breaks, the latch is the actual "safety related part" and is thus overbuilt.
My money's on you - I'm looking forward to your solution :bounce:

BTW - Back in the day when FORD parts were the only option (no aftermarket support for this part) replacement latches were $60 - $65 each...
 






Whatever rivets i can replace with bolts i will, i like the idea of being able to open part up again and replacing the whatever that is broken.

And fyi it will take around week for the parts to arrive, though sometimes fedex/rockauto has surprised me with REALLY fast delivery, so fast in fact that i didn't have time to prepare for the repair job.
 






you will also need 1/4' rivets and a rivet gun, unless you use bolts to replace the handle. I see no problem using bolts.
I think there is a bit of confusion here. The latch is not riveted, but attached to the door with 3 screws. The external handle is riveted, and also has a problem with breaking springs. Unlike the spring inside the latch, those in the handle assembly are not critical, and when they fail the handle still works, although feels loose. A "ghetto" repair to the latter was posted on this forum a few years ago, using an external spring attached to the rod, to restore the tension provided by the torsion springs inside the handle assembly. I have not tried it and can't tell if it works -- the driver side handle on my truck has been floppy for years, but otherwise works perfectly, so I don't mind.
 






I think there is a bit of confusion here. The latch is not riveted, but attached to the door with 3 screws. The external handle is riveted, and also has a problem with breaking springs. Unlike the spring inside the latch, those in the handle assembly are not critical, and when they fail the handle still works, although feels loose. A "ghetto" repair to the latter was posted on this forum a few years ago, using an external spring attached to the rod, to restore the tension provided by the torsion springs inside the handle assembly. I have not tried it and can't tell if it works -- the driver side handle on my truck has been floppy for years, but otherwise works perfectly, so I don't mind.

yes, rivets for the handle. screws for latch, sorry about that.
 






Had same issue with mine,( 01 explorer 4dr.) replaced accuator, did not fix the problem, it was the plastic clip that attaches the rod to the accuator. one of the little tabs were cracked. would not hold the rod in place.
My accuator works, but the rod keeps popping out
 






I meant the complete latch. For about $30 it's not worth searching for and fighting to install that tricky, tiny spring.
Disagree. If you can't find the spring separate, sure spend the $30 to get the whole latch to pull a spring out of to use, but it's still much easier to install that spring than the entire latch mechanism... by about an order of magnitude.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





Disagree. If you can't find the spring separate, sure spend the $30 to get the whole latch to pull a spring out of to use, but it's still much easier to install that spring than the entire latch mechanism... by about an order of magnitude.
Have you done this? Call me stupid, but I couldn't even see what is wrong with the latch before I took it out. Not to mention that even then all I saw were broken pieces of that little spring and I had no idea where exactly to hook a new one, even if I had it. I still have that latch and am looking at it as I am writing this -- and still no idea where that spring belongs.
 






Back
Top